OTC Derivatives Market in India: Recent Regulatory Initiatives and Open Issues for Market Stability and Development

The OTC derivatives markets all over the world have shown tremendous growth in recent years. In the wake of the present financial crisis, which is believed to have been exacerbated by OTC derivatives, increasing attention is being paid to analysing the regulatory environment of these markets. In this context, we analyse the regulatory
framework of the OTC derivatives market in India. The paper, inter alia, seeks to prove the point that the Indian OTC derivatives markets, unlike many other jurisdictions, are well regulated. Only contracts where one party to the contract is an RBI regulated entity are considered legally valid in India. A good reporting system and a post-trade clearing and settlement system, through a centralised counter party, has ensured good surveillance of the systemic risks in the Indian OTC market. From amongst the various OTC derivatives markets permitted in India, interest rate
swaps and foreign currency forwards are the two prominent markets. However, by international standards, the total size of the Indian OTC derivatives markets still remains small because credit default swaps were conspicuously absent in India until now. It appears that Indian OTC derivatives markets will grow fast once again after
the present financial crisis is over.